by: Garry Orvad and Chris Butler
On the 6th November 18 children and 5 adults of the Coober Pedy Junior Football Club headed out of town to Baird Bay to hold our football presentations. All Children were excited and turned up well before the departure time.
After setting up, the children were able to enjoy the beach for a while as dinner was being prepared. An early night in swags was needed for a full day packed with adventure the next day.
After breakfast we split the group up into two then headed down the beach to Allan and Trish Payne’s place to take a charter on the Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience Tour. The children put on wet suits and were briefed on the things to do and not to do. Everyone then headed out to sea with large smiles on their faces.
First stop was the Sea Lion colony where we had to swim in very shallow water over a reef to get to deeper water. This was the Experience of a life time! The seals came over to join in the fun, swimming around and in between us, laying on the bottom looking up at us and darting around as free as could be.
Then we went back to the boat and headed into much deeper water. This is where Troy one of our guides strapped on shark deferrers.
A few children and adults then got into the deeper water and it wasn’t long before the Dolphins appeared. These big mammals came right up close to us – almost close enough to touch.
A fascinating experience for both the people in the water as well as those on the boat. This trip will remain in all of our memories for the rest of our lives!
The remainder of the afternoon was filled in with nibbles on the beach, swimming, exploring for sea shells, chasing crabs and a great game of cricket. In the evening we demolished a huge roast dinner, great salads and of course cakes followed by our football presentation.
All children received a premiership Medal for 2009, coach’s medal & of course trophy’s to our young achievers Keith O’Toole – Most Improved, Shirley Brown- Most Improved, Robert O’Toole – Most Consistent, Dylan Orvad – Best team man.
Sunday morning everyone enjoyed cereal, juice, bacon and eggs, then into the bus and off to Point Labbatt - the largest Sea Lion colony in the southern hemisphere.
Here the children were split into 5 groups and given a pen and paper and the group worked together to find 5 points of interest. A great exercise in which all enjoyed.
For the next leg of the journey we headed off to Sceale Bay, parked the bus and drove the car and footy trailer along the beach where we set up a camp with plenty of shelter.
While the children had a swim we cooked up hot dogs for lunch, heaps of fruit and drinks. Once the food settled down they were able to go swimming, play beach volley ball or throw Frisbees till we set up all the fishing rod’s and reels (Sorry to the locals – as we took up 1.5kms beach) with a few catches of tommy’s and flat head as the evening sun was setting, so we made a big BBQ on the beach for all to enjoy, then packed up and revelled in a very quite trip back to the beach house at Baird Bay.
On Monday we all packed up and headed back to Coober Pedy via Wirrulla & Kingoonya.
The Coober Pedy Junior Football Club would like to thank all the people and businesses of Coober Pedy who contributed towards this wonderful event for the town’s kids.
• Aboriginal Family Support Service – for your donation to allow the children to experience the Baird Bay Ocean Eco experience
• Umoona Tjutku Health Service – for the use of the bus and fuel to take the children away
• Trish & Allan Payne of Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience Tours – your generosity by making this experience memorable & at half price
• Miners Store – for the donation of food items which was greatly appreciated
• Steve – for donating bread & rolls (the hot dogs were good)
• Lucas Supermarket – for the donation of food items and treats
• Caltex – thanks Boy’s and Staff for all of those boxes of drinks they did last till about 100km’s out of town on the way back
• Peter and Lois Outback Mobil – for your donation towards fuel for 4wd’s
• Bob Hemblyn Thank you again for the donation of more signed footballs
• Mud Hut Motel – for always filling in the missing pieces
• Mick Manning – we slowed down to let you over take 80 km’s out of Kingoonya – You stopped and asked about the Coober Pedy Football Club Trailer and then over the UHF radio told the children there is a cold lemonade for all when we arrive at Kingoonya – your generosity did not stop there, on arrival you refuelled the 4wd. This is a story on its own.
• Dawn Jones and Brian Jones – what can one say? Your offer to use the beach house was remarkable, your generosity & compassion are the best. This was the start to a lasting memory for many children THANK YOU.
• Sports and Rec -Shayne Nelson – your enthusiasm in setting up sports for the children and interaction with them was A1 Class
• To the Coober Pedy Area School – without your support this occasion would not have been possible
• To all our other support staff – Katharine Micka, Chris Butler, Garry Orvad for organising this event. And very special thank you to Darren Underwood – knowing you were very busy elsewhere and you dropped everything to be part of it THANK YOU
Coober Pedy Football Club